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Tactics for Negotiating Identity: Arab-American Artists and Cultural Hybridity

Teresa M. Lundgren


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Thesis Description


Title

Tactics for Negotiating Identity: Arab-American Artists and Cultural Hybridity

Author

Teresa M. Lundgren

Advisor

Karyn Zieve

Date

2016

Abstract

This thesis is an examination of contemporary Arab-American cultural hybridity and different tactics that are used to define this identity. These tactics are illustrated through visual and contextual analysis of the work of three Arab-American artists, Walid Raad, Wafaa Bilal, and Sophia Al-Maria. Through this analysis it is argued that while the formation of identity is always relational, it is not always done by means of difference. While Raad looks in toward the cultures in which he includes himself, performatively becoming more engrained in each, Bilal looks outward, exaggerating differences between him and the cultures he is caught between, and Al-Maria looks forward to a future time and place where her identity feels settled, no longer in a position of hybridity. These three artists also demonstrate that because of the array of individual experiences, personal identity can never be confused with larger cultural identity.

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Citation

Teresa M. Lundgren, “Tactics for Negotiating Identity: Arab-American Artists and Cultural Hybridity ,” History of Art & Design Theses, accessed September 21, 2017, http://hadthesis.pratt.edu/items/show/83.